Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Lurkey

Today was Thanksgiving.  It's a fun holiday...especially when you don't have anywhere to travel....except down the road 4 miles (thank you Aunt Sarah).  Aunt Sarah has famously taken on Thanksgiving holiday for the past several years now.  She took last year off and I didn't blame her a bit.  It's hard work you know....even if you do assign out 95% of the food to your guests/family.  Hosting is not for the faint of heart.  Someday when I have a big house (far in the future at this rate) I will totally host Thanksgiving just to give Sarah a much needed break.  Of course, I doubt I'd come close to her hosting abilities that's for sure.

The two Woody's from Toy Story.  Now you have proof where Jonas' big head comes from.    Like Father like son!

We were supposed to bring the green bean casserole and green salad.  Totally easy assignments in my book.  However, we were also supposed to send Daddy over earlier so he could provide his contribution:  Fried Turkey.  He and Tom have been talking/dreaming about frying a turkey for years now.  Tom even had the gear.  They decided this year they were going to make it happen.  Coincidentally, I've been dreaming about EATING a fried turkey for years now as well.  So happy we were all able to live our dream.  And yes, it was everything I dreamt it to be.  So delicious folks!  I don't think I'll eat turkey any other way from now on.

Prepping the oil for the bird.

Delivery to the table.  Yes, we cleared all the children out of the vicinity for this process.  Both because we didn't want to scald anyone with a hot bird and also didn't want that deliciousness to end up on the ground instead of our mouths.

The boys and their bird.   Yum!

The day was nice and relaxing and the feast was delish!  Especially the part where all the cousins got to dine in the other room together while we adults enjoyed adult conversation.  Afterwards consisted of full stomachs, naps and lounging, and we wrapped up the evening with desserts and our annual traditional game of Catch Phrase.  It's always a fun game to play when Mama Jean is in the house.  We never keep score really....just enjoy laughing until our insides hurt from all the interesting attempts at word descriptions.

So thankful for soooo many things.  Namely, my family...both immediate and extended.  Thankful for our health and our home and our income.  Thankful for all the little blessings in between.  But, mostly that I get to spend my days with two cute little kiddos named Addison and Jonas.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cousin Fun

Our KC cousins came down for a visit for Thanksgiving this year.  We were rather excited since we don't get to see these guys too often.  

Upon their arrival we all met up at the movie theaters (Jonas stayed back with Daddy - we ALL know he can't hold still for a movie).  Addison and I met up with them and got to see "Wreck it Ralph"  (It's now the name I've coined Jonas - totally fits).  Surprisingly the only one not sold out was the 3-D version.  Which meant Grandma Fields bailed and went back home.  I didn't know how Addison would do with the glasses but luckily taking them off or on didn't really affect the screen like I thought it would.  Overall, it was a great movie and a great time catching up with cousins.  At least as much catching up as you can do in a packed movie-theater in the dark....on different rows from each other.  ;-)

Part of our cousin fun included Addison's very first sleepover at Aunt Sarah's.  I didn't know if she'd quite "get-it" at least the part where Mommy would not be there with her.  She didn't seem to mind and was rather excited to go home and pack her "pack-pack" with all her gear.  Jammies, stuffed animals, change of clothes, and panties.  We dropped her off and she wasn't phased at all.  She even got to sleep in Karah's big girl bed with Karah, Megan, and Laney.  However, just as true as sleepovers go, she didn't actually get much sleep.  She had a blast but I'm not so sure her cousins did when they got to suffer the effects of the grumpy Addison the next day.  I actually wondered if I'd be getting a call in the middle of the night to rescue her but surprisingly that call didn't come until morning time when Uncle Tom called and said "Addison's awake and ready for her Mommy to come get her"  Isn't she cute?  Her first sleepover was a smashing success!  Next post:  Turkey Day!!

Heading to Aunt Sarah's with her "pack-pack."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adventures of Sadie

I did it.  I bit the bullet and I did it.  We actually signed up to bring home Addison's class pet for a weekend.  I got the courage to sign up once and actually went back and crossed my name off the list.  Then felt guilty when Addison kept asking when we were bringing Sadie to our house.  So, Sadie ended up coming to our house after all.

Let me first explain..... I'm NOT keen on the idea of raising any/all pets anytime soon.  I'm the mean parent that says "No" when Daddy starts getting them excited about getting a puppy.  I figure, I can barely raise my own children at this stage of the game....and I birthed them!  How would I ever raise a pet at the same time?  More messes, one more mouth to feed, one more life to ain't happening.  At least not anytime soon.  I'm all for entertaining the idea when our children are actually old enough to take some of the responsibilities themselves.

However, after bringing Sadie (the guinea pig) home Friday and seeing just how much Addison and Jonas doted on her and loved her and watched her, I ACTUALLY entertained the idea of a family pet. Keep in mind this was only within the first hour of renting this one.  After the weekend was done I had definitely changed my mind back.  

It was fun having her (for the first day) and Jonas actually adored her more than Addison.  On multiple occasions I would find him just staring at her, giggling, or even trying to dump her cage over and free her.  It was cute, I took pictures, etc etc.  

Day two and three consisted of me feeding her only to have her dump it out in her cage, and also moving her cage around the house just to get it out of Jonas' reach.  The kids forgot about her for the most part.  And did I mention we had to take her back in to school on Monday (our non-preschool day)?  Of course, I was more than willing to make the extra trip just to send her back and be done with it all.  

Oh and while Addison was holding her and feeding her carrots and lettuce, she bit her.  Luckily it didn't break the skin and once Addison calmed down I explained how Sadie probably just thought her finger was a carrot...silly Sadie.  Then I promptly threw her back in the cage for the duration of her stay.  Thankfully Addison did not acquire a fear of hairy rodents because of it and she quickly forgave her.  

All-in-all, it was a fun ONE time experience for the kiddos.  But, I'd much rather just give Sadie a wave as we drop Addison off at school in the mornings.  It's easier this way.  

Our first hour of bonding.  It was love.

Amazed at her ability to devour lettuce and carrots.

Fascinated little guy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Person Of The Week

Addison has been a very patient pupil as she has watched most of her classmates be "Person Of The Week" throughout the first part of this school year.  Last week was finally her time to shine.  She was rather excited about it.  Once I broke the news to her she managed to remind us about ten times per day.  It was funny because she'd say it super fast as in "Daddy, I'm dapersonofdaweek!!"  Rinse & Repeat.

Being person of the week is no small task.  First, we got to pick out what snacks we were going to bring for BOTH days.  She picked bananas and raisins and animal crackers and pretzels and apple juice.  After each day, she told me about which ones they ate that particular day and reminded me that they were the snacks WE brought.  

Another duty for such a calling is to be the line leader.  She wore that badge with pride. Usually she tells me about things that happened at preschool as they trickle out of her memory during the remaining part of the day.  This one was slipped into a conversation about something random....possibly her trying to be a big girl.  I made sure to stop our conversation and go on and on about her responsibilities as a line leader.  Such an exciting thing at that age.  I'm glad she was proud to be one.  

Another duty is making a collage all about yourself to share with your classmates.  We spent last week's FHE working on Addison and spotlighting her as a family.  Mommy and Addison decorated her board (a bright pink poster board - she picked herself) and Daddy played defense with keeping Jonas from ripping it all to pieces.  It turned out rather pretty even if it did partially blind anyone that stared at it too long.  

She insisted we go with the bright pink poster board.  I initially tried to change her mind and then the heck with it.  She loves her some pink.  Just a bit of description on her "Person of the Week" poster....

First, pink - she LOVES the color pink.  Milk - she will down it quicker than you can pour it.  We've had to actually cut her off of it before bed so we can avoid wet sheets at night.  Popcorn - she will eat this any time of the day/night.  Daddy is her supplier both in providing the corn for her (and him) and also giving her the DNA that acquires her taste/love of the corn.  It's a Hufford thing I'm learning.  And so far 2 out of 2 kids have been diagnosed with it.  Next, a picture of a cute little Addison.  Next, a picture of none other than Barbie.  I tried to not over-worry at her statement of "I want to be Barbie when I grow up" and her insistent request on putting Barbie's picture on there.  Those aren't the words any mother is dying to hear.  I'm trying to convince myself it's all innocent at this age.  Lets hope she changes her aspirations by the time she's hitting puberty.  Next, a picture of her "helping take care of brother".  She is a very good helper for Mom and loooovvvveeesss her little brother.  I love that she does.  Next, a family picture (a bit outdated but I do dread taking those things).  Next, strawberries...while she loves any/all fruit she inhales strawberries.  Next, her swinging at the park.  One of her favorite things to do.  She will happily spend 95% of her time at the park swinging.  Next, a picture of her and Jonas reading books at the library.  She loves going there and loves reading books as well.  And lastly, a picture of her riding Aunt Sarah's horse.  She learned to love that experience and still loves to talk about it to this day.

In a nutshell, that is Addison.  I'm so glad she got to be the focus at preschool for the week.  She is such an obedient, helpful, and somewhat shy girl that I doubt she has much time in the spotlight on any normal occasions.  Glad the teachers gave her a chance to enjoy it this week.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Part Goat, Part Lizard

After much observation, I've determined Jonas is a hybrid of two animals.  A mountain goat, and a little lizard.  

Ever since he started crawling (at a whopping 10 months old) he has decided that EVERY surface he comes into contact is climb-able.  It's funny to see just how he approaches objects.  Even if it's totally higher than him, he still hikes that little leg up acting like if he just gets it a centimeter closer he'd make it.  I love his determination.  

In the beginning he decided climbing on me was the way to go.  If I was laying down on the ground within reach, he'd just mountain goat climb his way up and on top of me.  Never stopping.  Since then he's climbed a variety of objects.  Here are just a few I was able to catch with a camera...

Without fail, he beelines it to the dishwasher any time I leave it open.   I also got a picture of him mid-fall right after this.  

Climbing up the diaper box.  He's whimpering for some help here as the box slides away slowly from the table.

Trying his hand at the piano...with a little boost of course.

Trying to be like sister and help in the kitchen.  See what I mean about that little leg making a go at it?

The side shot.  Again he's panicking while it slides away from the counter.  And yes, I stay with the camera instead of saving him. ;o)  He survived, I promise.

With all of his climbing endeavors he has also managed to make some pretty hard falls and keep on going.  I guess it's a boy thing.  Might as well train them young right?  It is funny when I hear a scared frightened cry coming from across the house, only to run and find him trapped on some sort of stool, trying to climb his way up.  For being such a climber, he hasn't quite yet mastered how to get down.

I wasn't able to catch his little Lizard moments on camera quite yet but I remain determined.  He's always swaying and bobbing that squeezy little tongue out of those juicy little lips.  It's so tempting to take a swipe and try to grab it but he is a quick one.  I haven't been able to yet.  He sticks it out just barely and points it just perfectly and smirks at me.  I swear he's taunting me with it.  I can hardly contain my need to squish him when he does it.  

Regardless of what animal hybrid he is we love him and accept him in all of his animal gloriousness.  He's fun to watch as he meanders around the house.  I love the boy in him. I'm so glad I get to see the similarities and differences of he and his sister.  Boy, I have some cute kids.

Happy Halloween!

Being the party animal that I am, I took it upon myself to orchestrate quite a intricate celebration to ring in the holiday.  Actually, I just invited some close friends over to eat Skyline Chili with us and we all went trick-or-treating afterward. was quite festive and totally worth the five minutes it took me to throw it all together.  Thanks Lowden's & McKasson's for ringing in the Pumpkin Appreciation Day with us!!

Addison spent the day of the party asking me non-stop when/if it was time to celebrate yet.  Yes, as in every 30 minutes.  She loves her some action and parties and festivities and friends.  Totally my child.  After about the billionth time she asked I was finally able to say "Yes!  It's party time!"

We waited for our friends to arrive before we took our traditional (two years and counting folks) walk down to our neighborhood Sonic for free hotdogs and sodas.  I love the small town feel in the air around here and especially on Halloween.  There were TONS of people there by the time we made it but luckily those minimum wage Sonic workers totally know how to streamline and be efficient.  They need to hire them to work the voting polls/booths (post to come).  Anyway, we stocked up on our free dinner for the kids and walked back to the house to dine with everyone else.  It was crazy and chaotic and exciting to have kids everywhere, hot dogs flying through the air, everyone chatting and eating, and babies all crawling around the chaos.  We love our friends and love that we all get along just perfectly.  

After we shoved some food down our face we drew straws to see who would sit behind with the big bowl of candy while the rest of us flanked the neighborhood.  Then we came to our senses and just left the bowl of candy on the doorstep so we could all enjoy watching (chasing) the kids from house to house.  I'm sure we made some greedy teenager VERY happy.  Needless to say, it was crazy chaos.  There were TONS of people/kids/dogs/cars everywhere we went.  We finally managed to separate ourselves from the kid who was hacking up a lung while the parent was chain smoking, and went down a quiet street.  Ahhhh...finally by ourselves so we could actually enjoy the holiday instead of join the rat race to the next door.  

We walked quite a bit that night.  Addison was loving every minute of it.  Especially the part where she got to knock on doors with her friends Bentley and Cooper.  Daddy did a great job of helping her get from door-to-door while I stayed behind with Jonas and his friend Camry and her Mommy.  At one door, there was a fog machine and a graveyard in his front yard, and he was dressed as a grim reaper standing behind the fog.  After about five minutes of Daddy trying to convince Addison to knock on the door, the poor man finally came out of the fog and told Addison "Don't worry!  I won't scare you I promise!"  She finally took Daddy with her and got her candy.  Then at another door she told Daddy:  "Daddy, I kinda nervous to go to dis door.  Can you go with me?"  Otherwise, she knocked on most every door by herself. 

We spent the month leading up to Halloween talking about it.  We talked about how we ring the doorbell, say "Trick-or-Treat" super loud (she is usually very quiet around people) and then we say "Thank You!" super loud so they can hear it.  We practiced and practiced...mostly at her request.  But when it was showtime she had no fear and she was always good about talking loud and especially about saying "Thanks You!!"  I even noticed one of the doors, the person handing out the candy was quite appreciative and stopped what he was doing just to say "You're welcome!"  Apparently, he hadn't heard too many thank-you's that evening.  I'm so glad she knows how to be polite and grateful and appreciative.  

The kiddos were super tired by the end of the evening and finally decided they had had enough candy.  It was a fun night and we were all ready for bed.  After we taxed Addison on her candy of course.  We have to check it for safety reasons ya know!

Happy Halloween!!

It took some coercing but Addison finally learned to appreciate the gooey-ness of the pumpkin guts.
Jonas didn't quite know what to think.  And he's even our messy guy!  It probably doesn't help that his whole arm is engulfed in the pumpkin.
A photo op with our finished masterpieces.

The one on the right is Daddy's and because of this, has been illuminated with a very large 100 hour food storage candle.  We were lucky to not burn the house down that night folks.

Daddy with our little trick-or-treaters.  A scary but cuddly and cute Bear and a beautiful Rapunzel.

The gang before we set off for candy.  Do you know how hard it is to get this many kids to hold still BEFORE they are allowed candy on every doorstep?  It was not a small feat that's for sure.

Home Room Mom

I think I'm a certified nerd.  For many reasons of course....but mostly because I've always dreamed of the day I could be a home room mother for my kids when they went to school.  Do they even still call them that?  Holiday parties galore.  Bringing a glimpse of the "outside world/smell" to the confines of a musty classroom in the middle of the day.  I always thought they were awesome.  And it's even more awesome-er that I am one now.  My mom always participated in my classroom activities as I was growing up.  It took me many many many MANY days for my wish to come true but it finally did a couple of Tuesdays ago.  Whuh?  And I'm just now posting about it?  Weird I know.

Addison has been going to pre-school every Tue/Thur for a couple of months now.  We love it and she loves it.  But that's a whole other post.  Last week I signed up to be a helper during her Halloween party at school for an hour.  And can I just say I'm soooo glad she goes to a school (Methodist affiliated I think) that isn't afraid to call it what it is?  A HALLOWEEN party.  Not a fall harvest, a fall festival, or pumpkin appreciation.  HALLOWEEN....AND they even let them wear their costumes to school.  Yay for not having to be politically correct all the gosh darn stinkin' time.  

I specially selected a babysitter for Jonas so I could focus on my duties as a first-time home room mother.  Yes, he could have just played next to me while I busied myself with party preparations but I wanted Addison to know that this was HER time.  Plus, he is more work to chase down and keep from climbing on things than not.  

By the time I showed up to help, the kiddos were off playing at recess.  I think every single mother was there.  Yay for lots of parental support.  We bagged candies for the kiddos and helped the teachers prep for the fun.  It was so cute watching the kids come in and Addison scanning the face of every mother until she found me and grinned from ear to ear.  

The party itself was nice and low key and we basically just followed our child around as they played at the different game stations.  I did make it a point to stay back a bit as Addison worked her way around the room.  This forces her to actually interact with other people and teachers and kids....and cling less to me as her safety net.  She did great and of course we both had a blast.  I love how her preschool is helping her overcome her timidness.

Playing with the Halloween felt board.  This was before she was flanked with kids on each side wanting to play too.  She started to back away until I encouraged her to join in with them.  

Snack time!  Talk about sugar overload.  And yes, that is my child stuffing the whole cupcake into her mouth.  She's an avid icing fan.

Showing me her crafty candy loot after the party.  Such fun and creative things the other Moms made to give to the class.
What isn't shown in the pictures are the 'Bean Bag Toss' game wherein Addison walked right up to the holes and chucked the bags through.  I'm sure she was, what's so hard about this game?  And of course the "Pin The Nose On The Pumpkin" game wherein she walked up to the board and peeked under her blindfold and stuck the nose on the exact place it was supposed to be.  The 'Pumpkin Ring Toss' game where she stood right over the pumpkin and dropped the ring down.  And the 'Halloween Bingo Game' where she was finally forced to follow the rules since Mrs. Leslie was officiating that one.  Such a smart little girly I have! ;o).

It was so much fun to take part in her preschool day just her and I and see her interact with her classmates and teachers.  I finally found my dream job.  Being a Home Room Mother.  Now I need to go find somewhere to enroll Jonas so I can double up on these party celebrations!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Haunted Harvest

We did celebrate Halloween with the rest of the population.  It has just taken me over a week to post about it.  It's worth the wait me.  And we have so many pictures that I'm breaking it up into a few posts.  You're welcome. ;-)

The weekend before Halloween we were lucky enough to have Grandma Bell come and visit us.  I had requested her presence weeks in advance since John was going to be gone on our ward trunk-or-treat night (taking youth to an activity) and there was nooooo wayyyy I was lugging two kids under 3, dressed in full costume, with a simmering pot of chili, and a bowl full of candy to a church function all by my lonesome.  My mother loves me she came.  And Addison could NOT have been more excited about her arrival.  She loves her some Grandma Bell time.  

Our Saturday morning started off with a trip to the local Pumpkin Patch.  We were all rather excited.....until we were reminded just how much that lovely pumpkin patch costs.  Um whuh?  8.00 admission just to get past the gate?  We even insisted we didn't want to do the actual corn maze part of it...nope same price regardless.  They totally have a monopoly on this festivity this time of year.  Yep, we paid it and gosh darn it we DID do the corn maze after all....whether we wanted to or not!  We had to get our money's worth ya know!  And we did, it was a grand time had by all.  I guess I can muster up the money once a year just for the memories.  

I was reduced to riding the cow train yet again this year.  I don't think I'll be getting to take a year off anytime soon.  While Addison was old enough for her "own cow", Jonas was not.  I'm hoping he enjoyed it enough to make sacrificing my knee caps with every bump worth it.  A mother's love.

The nice "cow train driver man" let Addison have a seat in the driver's seat after our ride.    I guess he took pity on us since we were his only passengers on our route.

I'm the one that convinced John to take this picture of Jonas.  Yes, we did leave him teetering on the edge of death...just for a photo op.  But isn't it cute?!  No worries, I was only five inches away at the time.  It's a fitting picture since he's our little climber (aka mountain goat).
Our little family posing for a photo op.  

Grandma and her favorite grandkids. ;-)

Jonas is the goat whisperer.  Actually he is the "insert any animal you can think of here" whisperer.  He likes them all.  I'm assuming it's a mixture of his lack of fear and a complete naiveté to anything possibly going wrong.  He especially liked to pull this goat's ears.  The goat wasn't a fan.

Addison is a semi-sheep whisperer.  It takes her a bit to acclimate to the livestock but once she does, she's golden.

Loading up in the trailer to ride down and pick out some pumpkins.  What isn't shown is the less than stellar selection of pumpkins.  We decided to just load back up in the trailer and go along for the ride.  At this point in the season, Wal-mart would have a better selection (and better prices).  

This is fun Grandma Bell entertaining the kiddos at the chili cook-off/Ward trunk-or-treat.

A quick pose of the two cuties all suited up and on our way out to trick-or-treat some trunks.

 It was a great weekend and so much fun to share it with Grandma Bell.  I love to see the kids hang out with her and request that she do every.single.thing for them.  It works rather well for me as I sit and watch her raise my children all weekend.  It's a win-win.  

The trunk-or-treat was a blast and was just the beginning to even more fun-filled Halloween festivities.  Stay tuned for more!